Why Erect Boundaries? [WEB]

The Collaborative Platform as catalyst for Creative Production
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Project Location

New Haven Connecticut United States of America
Artists Involved

Matthew Claudel, Paul Fletcher-Hill, Krysten Koehn, Amrita Raja, Jen K Lee, Evan Wiskup, William Stovall, Kit-Yi Wong +
Project Description

Why Erect Boundaries? [WEB]:
The Collaborative Platform as catalyst for Creative Production

“Only in this way, by virtue of the experiment, can we co-produce society, making the voice of art heard. And, if it would only realise this, art has an incredible potential to evaluate the values ingrained in society. It can consolidate a non-normative platform and evoke a sense of community based on the fact that we are all different from one another. To define community in this way is the real challenge today.”—Olafur Eliasson on the Institut für Raumexperimente

Project Description

Why Erect Boundaries [WEB]? is an experiment, begun by Yale students, that harnesses both the social platforms of new technologies and the University establishment as armatures for collaborative production. Through the framework of a creative laboratory, WEB seeks to address the individual value of collaborative work; establishing a productive model that calls upon shared resources to drive personal passions; deploying the methodology of the experiment in its critical questioning and open evolution.

WEB will be carried out by six creative teams, hybrid groups that come from diverse backgrounds: Yale Graduate Schools of Architecture, Art, Forestry, Music, Drama, and Yale College. Almost forty individuals are united by a shared desire to reject boundaries and binaries, to embrace varied perspectives and contradictions, and to expand and enrich their practice by contact and collaboration. Through six internal workshops over the course of eight months, WEB teams will create, develop, and produce work that will be installed at a site in New Haven and presented to the public in a three-day exhibition-festival in the spring of 2013.

WEB project seeks to gather the intellectual and financial resources available at Yale to form a dynamic group around a shared ethos. This ethos is that ideas today have an untapped profitability and that the dynamic group-setting allows for a richer spectrum and faster developmental evolution of these ideas. WEB seeks to cement a core group of idea-makers at Yale which will then expand its web of constituents, and the framework of the project itself, into the world beyond its borders. Crucially, WEB seeks to tap into the very resources that usually erect elitist boundaries to begin to break down those walls: re-thinking the purpose of privilege and promoting a power shift in creative production.

WEB seeks to be a catalyst for collective work, innovation, and enterprise, which it will achieve by bringing creative people in contact with each other, by providing them space for freedom of creativity, and yet ensuring productivity by prompting a procedural and conceptual structure within which to conduct the work.

WEB will explore the possibilities of digital platforms for combining these three important aspects in the development of a reproducible prototype for contemporary creative collaboration. The instrument of a pioneering web platform will act equally as an open-share workspace, a self-generating archival site, and a cohesively packaged public image and access-point. This unprecedented technological model for collaboration seeks to democratize the structure, and thereby the nature, of ‘success’.
Project Timeline and Budget

Production Timeline:

April 10th, 2012: Initial Information Session, 31 interested graduate students from Yale Schools of Art and Architecture

April 14th 2012: Permission given to Saga Blane from Program Director Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen and Thesis Advisor Peggy Deamer at Yale School of Architecture to produce WEB from spring 2012 to spring 2013 in conjunction with a thesis for the degree of a Masters of Environmental Design

End of April, 2012: Growth of the project to include almost forty members from Yale Schools of Architecture, Art, Forestry, Music, Drama, the Graduate School, and Yale College on the creative teams. Production teams also grow to include creative web developer Paul Fletcher-Hill, writer/art critic Lucas Zwirner, writer/journalist Jason Daniel Schwartz who owns The New Herring Press

May 2012: Writers meet to decide publication format of WEB. Funding applications to Rhizome, Yale Schools of Architecture and Art, and the Graduate and Professional Student Senate. Venue exploration and negotiations with Yale University Properties and New Haven Project Storefronts: http://www.cityofnewhaven.com/CulturalAffairs/CreativeEconomy/ProjectStorefront.asp

June 2012: Teams submit initial project proposals with suggested team name, team leaders, team archivists, proposed timeline for project completion, and breakdown of proposed budget.

End of June 2012: Completion of the first phase of the web component by Paul Fletcher-Hill: the shared ‘workspace’.

July-August 2012: Teams keep in contact through the ‘workspace’, uploading content and sharing ideas as they emerge. Development of a dual digital and print publicity strategy

September 2012: Workshop 1—Launching WEB, a social event that re-introduces the group to the project and begins to build inter-team relationhips. Publication of the first issue of the Zine, Nova Textura (spin-off of Yale’s 1968 Novum Organum)

Teams begin self-directed work.

October 2012: Funding applications to the Forestry and Environmental Sciences Class of 1980 Grant, the Sudler Fund for undergraduates, and individual Undergraduate colleges.
Teams continue self-directed work.

Late October 2012: Workshop 2—Initial Project Idea Presentations; feedback provided by other teams. Publication of the second issue of the Zine.

Teams further develop self-directed work.

December 2012: Workshop 3—Joint session with Gallery + series at the Yale University Art Gallery. Publication of the third issue of the Zine.

January 2013: Workshop 4—Allocation of Money: Materials and Beginning to Build. Publication of the fourth issue of the Zine.

Teams continue to build independently.

Launching of Colloquium on Collaboration in Contemporary Discourse and Practice (organized by Masters of Environmental Design students), available to take for credit in the spring term.

February 2013: Workshop 5—Presentation of Stage of Built Work to Other Teams. Publication of the fifth issue of the Zine.
Teams continue to build independently

March 2013: Workshop 6—Final Developments, Group Sharing, Opening up the Process to Collective Discussion.
Teams prepare for exhibition-event launch.

April 12th, 2013: Symposium on Contemporary Collaborative Models organized by Masters of Environmental Design students at Yale. Installation of works in the site.

April 13th-15th: Exhibition Event (separate production schedule for this)

April and May 2013: Post-Production; mentorship assigned with Yale Entrepreneurial Institute to explore turning this into a profitable venture. Application to Yale Entrepreneurial Institute Summer Internship Program for incubating start-ups.

August 2013: Partaking in Yale Entrepreneurial Institute Summer Internship Program for launching of collaborative creative production model beyond Yale.
About the Artist(s) Involved

Saga Blane is a candidate for a Masters of Environmental Design at Yale School of Architecture. As Executive Producer and Creative Director, she is the impresario of the project and is producing WEB in conjunction with a thesis as the practical component to her forthcoming degree.

Matthew Claudel is an undergraduate at Yale majoring in Architecture. He is the Art Director and Associate Producer of WEB. As a designer, his skills run the gamut from branding to buildings; for WEB he is responsible for using this versatility to package the plurality of voices into clear and singular design aesthetic. Special interests include Japanese and Finnish architecture and design.

Paul Fletcher-Hill is and undergraduate at Yale and head of Digital Design and Development for WEB project. He previously spent two years doing Sequencing and Data Analysis on the NASA MESSENGER Mission to Mercury at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. He built his first web application as a junior in high school, and is responsible for the construction of the TEDxYale site (http://www.tedxyale.com) and front-end development at Art.sy (http://art.sy/).

Krysten Koehn is a candidate for an MFA in Painting and Printmaking at Yale School of Art. Her investigations revolve around the experiencing body across various media, time, and materiality.

Evan Wiskup is a candidate for a MArch at Yale School of Architecture. He has explored multimedia through projects such as Chiascape, and is interested in exploring digital performance under the auspices of WEB.

Kit Yi Wong is a graduating candidate for an MFA in Sculpture at Yale School of Art and a conceptual artist and independent curator. She has incorporated technology and performance into recent pieces such as her Thesis show, Love is when someone takes time to tell me who I am.

Amrita Raja is a candidate for a March at Yale School of Architecture. She is the YSOA Digital Media Office Assistant; in WEB she is interested in investigating ideas of trace, unexpected feedback loops, and technology as prompting accidental connectivity between members of the public.

Jen Lee is a candidate for an MFA in Graphic Design at Yale School of Art. Having worked for Google, she has a technology background to supplement her artistic practice. She is currently using the vehicle of karaoke to explore distinct narratives coming together in a layered whole.

William Stovall is a candidate for a PhD in German at the Yale Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences. As a philosopher, his lifestyle is in itself a conceptual art piece. He is interested in developing a “geneaology of the digital” and referencing the “illusion of digital experience in that the experience of it is always a witness of its attempt to suppress its own digitality”.

Further bios for other team members available at www.thewebproject.org
Artist(s) Work Samples

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